The Retinue of Dionysos The Canon
Damon the craftsman (none better
in the Peloponnese) is giving the last touches
to his Retinue of Dionysos
carved in Parian marble: the god leading
in divine glory, with power in his stride;
after him, Intemperance; and beside Intemperance,
Intoxication pours out the satyrs wine
from an amphora wreathed in ivy;
near them, Sweetwine, the delicate,
eyes half-closed, soporific;
and behind come the singers
Tunemaker and Melody and Reveller
the last holding the honored processional torch
which he never lets dieand then Ceremony, so modest.
Damon carves all these. And as he works
his thoughts turn now and then
to the fee hes going to receive
from the king of Syracuse:
three talents, a large sum.
Adding this to what he has already,
hell live grandly from now on, like a rich man,
andthink of ithell be able to go into politics:
he too in the Senate, he too in the Agora.

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

- Original Greek Poem

- Translation by John Cavafy

- Translation by Daniel Mendelsohn